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Pacific Rim Elementary's 5th grade math team won both the state and national championships at this year’s Perennial Math competition. Pictured from left: James Gentile, Olivier Weeda, Zachary Ross, Aaron Cooper and Sophia Kim. Photo by Ilene Cooper
Pacific Rim Elementary's 5th grade math team won both the state and national championships at this year’s Perennial Math competition. Pictured from left: James Gentile, Olivier Weeda, Zachary Ross, Aaron Cooper and Sophia Kim. Photo by Ilene Cooper
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Pacific Rim mathletes defend state, national titles

CARLSBAD  — Several Pacific Rim Elementary student mathletes defended their state and national titles at this year’s virtual Perennial Math competition.

Fifth-graders James Gentile, Olivier Weeda and Aaron Cooper — members of the school’s championship math team last year — and teammates Zachary Ross and Sophia Kim celebrated their second-straight state and national championships during a June 6 award ceremony in Carlsbad. 

Fellow Pacific Rim classmates Amal Ali, Caden Faciane, Annie Kim, Emi Furukawa, Maddox Lawrance took second place in the statewide team event and fifth place nationally.

In the individual events, Gentile finished second place in the national finals at Perennial, followed by Sophia Kim (4th), Annie Kim (5th), Cooper (11th) and Weeda (13th).

“It was an awesome experience and we could not have done it without Miss Ilene (Cooper),” Gentile told The Coast News. “I enjoyed meeting with my friends and doing challenging math.”

And that’s just a fraction of the awards and honors earned by members of the Pacific Rim math club, which is currently in its second year under the direction of parent, teacher and volunteer, Ilene Cooper.

Approximately two dozen math whizzes navigated months of competitions, participating in a total of 50 rounds across 13 national and international contests.

Top finishers nationally at the ZIML competition. Back row: Olivier Weeda, Artyom Sinitsyn, Zachary Ross, Aaron Cooper. Front row: James Gentile, Sophia Kim, Emi Furukawa, Annie Kim, Michael Kamenev (Not pictured: Kenza Labyed). Photo by Ilene Cooper
Top finishers nationally at the ZIML competition. Back row: Olivier Weeda, Artyom Sinitsyn, Zachary Ross, Aaron Cooper. Front row: James Gentile, Sophia Kim, Emi Furukawa, Annie Kim, Michael Kamenev (Not pictured: Kenza Labyed). Photo by Ilene Cooper

At World Maths Day, an online international mathematics competition featuring thousands of fifth graders from around the world, Pacific Rim’s team — Ross, Aaron Cooper, Emmet Conkey, Maddox Lawrance, Michael Kamenev, Desmond Holinka, Emi Furukawa, Adrian Torres, Kaleb Basilio and Navdhi Jain — won the national title and placed fifth in the world team rankings.

At the Zoom International Math League (ZIML), Aaron Cooper, Ilene’s son, was a three-time silver and two-time bronze national award winner.

Ilene Cooper told The Coast News she started the math club to give students opportunities to earn recognition for their math talents.

“There are so many opportunities to excel at sports but (students) don’t have the same opportunities to excel at school,” Ilene said. “I wanted to create a situation for these kids who are amazing at math to be recognized and to get their own medals and trophies for what they can accomplish.”

World Maths Day

National Champions — Emmet Conkey, Maddox Lawrance, Michael Kamenev, Desmond Holinka, Aaron Cooper, Emi Furukawa, Adrian Torres, Zachary Ross, Kaleb Basilio, Navdhi Jain. World team ranking: 5th. 

Perennial Math

National

Team (1st) — Aaron Cooper*, James Gentile*, Olivier Weeda*, Sophia Kim, Zachary Ross;

Team (5th) — Amal Ali*, Annie Kim, Caden Faciane*, Emi Furukawa, Maddox Lawrance;

Individual — James Gentile (2nd), Sophia Kim (4th), Annie Kim (5th), Aaron Cooper (11th), and Olivier Weeda (13th);

State

Team (1st) Aaron Cooper, James Gentile, Olivier Weeda, Sophia Kim, Zachary Ross;

Team (2nd) — Amal Ali, Annie Kim, Caden Faciane, Emi Furukawa, Maddox Lawrance

Individual (1st) — Aaron Cooper and Olivier Weeda; Sophia Kim (2nd); Annie Kim and James Gentile (3rd).

* Part of last year’s state and national championship team.

Mental Math Olympiad

National Finals – Annie Kim (4th), Michael Kamenev (8th);

World Ranking – Annie Kim (20th), Michael Kamenev (36th);

Zoom Int’l Math League (ZIML)

National Gold Award  Artyom Sinitsyn;

National Silver Award Aaron Cooper (3x), James Gentile, Michael Kamenev, Olivier Weeda, Sophia Kim;

National Bronze Award Aaron Cooper (4x), Annie Kim, Emi Furukawa, James Gentile (2x), Kenza Labyed, Maddox Lawrance, Michael Kamenev (x2), Sophia Kim (2x), Zachary Ross (3x).

Beestar

National Bronze Award Aaron Cooper;

National Honorable Mention Sophia Kim;

Math Olympiad

Top 10% Nationally — Aaron Cooper, Emi Furukawa

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